Better To Be Safe Than Sorry When Choosing A Seemingly Ideal Company Name

Choosing the perfect business name is not only a frustrating task but it is a critical one too. It is better to be safe than sorry when choosing the seemingly ideal company name and you have to keep few things in mind from the legal aspect. No doubt you’ll spend days finding the perfect name and you can get professional help too, but when it comes down to legality of a business name, there are few questions entrepreneurs ask quite often.

How do I find out the business name I selected it already taken or not?

Although regional laws could be different yet you can do a trademark search to see whether there are other companies or businesses registered under the same name or a similar name. If you are organizing an LLC, LTD or Corporation then check there name availability too.

What is a trademark?

Trademark refers to a registered name and trademark owners have rights to prevent other people and businesses to use those exact or similar names. While naming your business or company, make sure no one else is using the same name and you can check that via trademark search.

Can I use a different business name than legal name for operating?

Yes you can, the term used for this purpose is “fictitious business name” also known as “DBA” and “trade name”. You can use a different name than your legal business name for operating in the country or overseas. You have to register both names as legal name and fictitious name while registering your company name.

How I can check the availability of company name in different databases?

You can do a quick screening search, LLC name database search, unregistered businesses names search and fictitious name database search to make sure the name is available. There are many professional firms and companies that do this job for you.

Can two companies use the exact same name?

Contrary to popular belief, this is very possible but not as simple as it may sound. First of all, there is no central body to keep record of all of the registered business names. Not only two companies could have an exact same name in two different countries but it is a possibility that multiple companies from different states could have the same name. In order to understand how it is possible, you need to understand why it is not a good idea to use the same name.

Business names give identity to a company and companies don’t have exclusive right to their name but they do have exclusive right to their identity. For example, the first Mark or John in the world does not have the exclusive right to use that name and he cannot prevent other people to use that name. However, he does have rights to protect his identity and if someone tries to adopt his identity for any kind of benefit, the original person has rights to take legal actions.

The same happens with companies; you cannot open a coffee shop named McDonald Coffee because people would think it belongs to the original McDonalds and you’d be getting financial benefits because of McDonald’s good reputation. That’s why it is recommended to do thorough research before selecting a business name for your company on relevant websites to make sure your business name is unique. You should not only avoid exact matches but also avoid similar names.

How some popular companies got their names?

New entrepreneurs make tons of mistakes when they start their first company and choosing a bad company name is a common one. Of course small companies cannot possibly afford spending thousands of dollars on the naming process but large organizations not only spend a hefty sum of money on their names and trademarks but they also spend money on their products names and new brands.

Motorola is known for making fastest mobile devices on the planet and Google bought its mobile division few years ago for a whopping $12 billion. This was one of the biggest deals in Google’s history which is an amazing fact considering Google buys hundreds of companies every year. Of course Motorola is a catchy name for technology related products but when founders named this company, it wasn’t even remotely related to mobile devices, wearables and technology.

Motorola made car radios in earlier days and that’s how it got its name. Talking of mobile phones, Qualcomm is world’s leader in developing fastest mobile processors and chips. Billions of Android phones and tablets use Qualcomm’s chip to deliver a fast experience. Qualcomm refers to Quality and Communication, and this name is considered one of the most excellent and self-explanatory name in tech industry.

Sprint is a well known mobile carrier in USA and this name fits with the company profile of delivering fast internet and communication medium. However, Sprint does not refer to “fast” directly but instead it is a short version of Southern Pacific Railroad International Communication.

Brandable and SEO-friendly names

From legal point of view, both brandable and SEO-friendly business names have their advantages and disadvantages. Brandable names are more difficult to find but quite easy to find out whether they are already registered or not. Even a simple Google search can show you if anyone else in the world using the same name or not. On the other hand, SEO-friendly names are more difficult to follow and they are not the most suitable option for most of the companies.

SEO-friendly business names make it easier for you to do marketing and advertising on the internet but brandable business names a bigger budget for marketing and branding. Internet related companies prefer SEO-friendly names because with the right strategies they can make it easier for their target audience to find their website.

The major difference between SEO-friendly names and brandable names is, SEO-friendly names are self explanatory and self-advertising but brandable names don’t. Because many different companies in an industry use quite similar SEO-friendly names, those business names are not easy to differentiate.

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